Excellent documentary made by that bastion of good, old-fashioned American journalism, Bill Moyers, and fascinating on account of how many parallels there are with the Bush administration’s ‘war on terror’, reliance of the ‘politics of fear’, disdain for Congress, international law and finally the American people. It is also worthy of note how much the situation has declined even since Iran-Contra and how to paraphrase Gore Vidal ‘the republic has well and truly been lost’.
Moyers details the formation of a ‘secret government’ from the end of the Second World War, through the coups in Iran and Guatemala (both of which had catastrophic results in the longer-term), the Bay of Pigs, assassination attempts made against foreign leaders and dignitaries, the Vietnam War and the My Lai Massacre, Watergate and finally the Iran-Contra Affair.
A dangerous and unaccountable rival to the legislative branch has long been in the ascendancy – the nexus of executive power, the Pentagon and the CIA – with little respect for the law, they are free to carry out whatever they deem necessary in the name of ‘national security’ and safeguarding the American people against ‘foreign threats’. The trend has precipitously worsened since the scandal of Iran-Contra – one only has to look at the total inaction of a , timid and Congress in response to the authorization of covert ops against Iran and ongoing flippant brinkmanship that may well provoke a disastrous war to ensue as a direct result.